Big ears, two tusks and huge trunk are the distinctive features of elephant - the largest land animal on Earth. Elephants are cl...
Big ears, two tusks and huge trunk are the distinctive features of elephant - the largest land animal on Earth. Elephants are classified into three extant species namely African bush elephant, African forest elephant and Asian elephant. Unlike their cousin Asian elephants, the African elephants are distinguished have large “Africa-shaped” ears and single domed head.
Here are 15 amazing facts about gargantuan African elephants.
The African bush elephant is the largest living land animal and the African forest elephant is the third-largest. According to San Diego Zoo, the largest elephant on record was an African elephant. It weighed 10,886 kg and was 13 feet tall (from shoulders to feet).
The large ears of African elephants look like a map of an African continent.
It has two distinct finger-like things at its tips which it uses for picking up and manipulating small objects. (1.1)
African elephants are known to have more fuller and rounded heads. Their head looks like a single dome.
African elephants can’t be domesticated easily. From sub-Saharan Africa to the rainforests of central and West Africa, they are found almost throughout African continent. The elephants live in Mali’s Sahel desert of northern Africa.
All African elephants, whether male or female, have tusks. They use them for fetching food and water. Also, the males use their tusks for battling with one another.
According to the African Wildlife Foundation, nearly 470,000 African elephants are currently there around the world. (1.2)
The African elephants are tallest at shoulders and have an average height of 8.2-13 feet. And it’s average weight ranges from 2.5 to 7 tons.
Though poaching of this enormous creature has declined in some parts and trading of its ivory tusks (meat and skin as well) has been made illegal, they are still being poached illegally. Since 1979, more than 50% Asian elephants have died out.
The skin of African elephants is more wrinkled and less hairy than Asian elephants.
(Video Credits: Cleveland Metroparks Zoo)
These amazing creatures can swim for up to 6 hours straight without touching the bottom. And can travel as far as 48 km (30 miles) at speeds of up to 2.1 km/h (1 mph).
The trunk of African elephant is heavily ringed and isn’t as hard as Asian elephant’s trunk.
The African elephants, unlike their Asian cousins, have short and round lower lips.
The African elephants are more likely to feed on the leaves and branches of bushes and trees. However they also eat grass, fruits and bark.
African forest elephant and African savannah elephant, the two species of African elephants, have a variation in toenails. The African forest elephant has 5 in front feet and 4 on back feet whereas the African savannah elephant has 4 on front and 3 on back.
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